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Old 28-06-2009, 21:32   #16
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Quote:
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Hi Dave…. Great article!

I am not sure if I am being the “Devils Advocate” in my reply, or just looking at it thru reflective eyes.

As a lifelong sailor and cruiser, living in mostly 3rd world places I view myself as a “professional pessimist”, always reviewing worst case scenarios knowing there is limited support in my chosen areas!

Before a passage, my dreams are a litany of items to be checked and nightmare scenarios to be analyzed. Ironically, this seems to have provided me with the courage to actually go and whenever tested I automatically know how to relieve the stress in others, so they can perform better.

Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time and can enjoy the little things, but there is a large slice of me that never looses control or just assumes that everything is safe and to be honest, I credit that to my negativity.

Perhaps we are the same but early experiences as a young boy confirmed my desire for freedom at any cost.

For those who remember the opening scene in Slumdog Millionaire where the young boy escapes from an outhouse, I made that same choice to get out and I think at an early age came to realize that “sh*t happens”
Just because you focus on the worst case scenario before you go on passage doesn't mean you are a pessimist. It means you have thought things out, and you know what you are going to do if problems happen. I've been there and done that more than once.

The second time I sailed from New Zealand north to the south Pacific, I knew that I was going to get swacked. The weather pattern was weird that year. It was like an inverted weather pattern with lows being located where highs are normally found. While waiting for more than fifteen days for a weather window, I studied Steve Daschew's book on Weather for the Mariner to see if I could make this passage without getting clobbered. It was the middle of southern winter, and we had to get out of Dodge as we had overstayed our limit. We pulled our parachute and tether out of the locker and had everything ready just in case. We finally got a weather window that lasted only until we were three hundred miles north of New Zealand in a squash zone. The parachute went into the water and we did fine. A good dose of pessimism comes in handy when you are preparing for a passage in what will likely be bad weather. When it came time to put the parachute in the water, I had rehearsed it in my mind plenty of times, and it deployed without a problem.

When I'm sailing offshore, I'm always running worse case scenarios in my mind thinking a day or two in advance. I'm responsible for the safety of my crew (family), and I have contingency plans in my mind to guarantee their safety as much as is humanly possible. I don't consider that pessimism. I consider it good seamanship.
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Old 28-06-2009, 22:04   #17
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When I was working towards Eagle Scout

The lifesaving merit badge was one of my toughest.....I was a little guy and had to "rescue" the merit badge counselor.....He started to try to kill me so I swam away(it was before I learned the "F" it word)...when he said "Rescue me!!!!!!!!!!" I quoted a line from the manual about keeping yourself safe.......He eventually calmed down and let me pull him to shore.

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One of the sad things about negative people is that it is hard to help them in their "Perfect Storm of Misery". If you spend too much time with them, they suck you into their black hole.

They will only drag you down.
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Old 28-06-2009, 23:03   #18
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We just a few hours ago just finished an 8 day passage that we were told was impossible; we were mad; we would die; we would sink the boat in storms and on reefs......

Needless to say we were fine and the passage fine.

After I have a sleep, beer, meal, and another sleep I'll tell you all about negativeness... how the lies of those incompetents just try to keep you from achieving or enjoying your dreams.


Mark
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Old 28-06-2009, 23:11   #19
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We just a few hours ago just finished an 8 day passage that we were told was impossible; we were mad; we would die; we would sink the boat in storms and on reefs......

Needless to say we were fine and the passage fine.

After I have a sleep, beer, meal, and another sleep I'll tell you all about negativeness... how the lies of those incompetents just try to keep you from achieving or enjoying your dreams.


Mark
I can hardly wait to hear your tale. I need a good sea story.

We had a rather windless trip over the top from Thursday Island to Darwin, except for strong winds the last eight hours in the Gulf south of Melville Island.
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Old 29-06-2009, 04:13   #20
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One of the sad things about negative people is that it is hard to help them in their "Perfect Storm of Misery". If you spend too much time with them, they suck you into their black hole...
Negativity Is Contagious
“... An important new study in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that negative opinions cause the greatest attitude shifts ...
... the opinions of others exert especially strong influence on individual attitudes when these opinions are negative ...”


More ➥ Negativity Is Contagious, Study Finds

“Anticipated Group Interaction: Coping with Valence Asymmetries in Attitude Shift” ~ by Adam Duhachek, Shuoyang Zhang, and Shanker Krishnan, Journal of Consumer Research: October 2007.
EconPapers: Anticipated Group Interaction: Coping with Valence Asymmetries in Attitude Shift
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Old 29-06-2009, 19:43   #21
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[quote=GordMay;298479]Negativity Is Contagious
“... An important new study in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that negative opinions cause the greatest attitude shifts ...
... the opinions of others exert especially strong influence on individual attitudes when these opinions are negative ...”

More ➥ Negativity Is Contagious, Study Finds /quote]

Being negative is easier than being positive. When you say no, it generally puts an end to the matter at hand and does not require much in the way of action on the part of the negative individual. Agreeing with negation also doesn't require very much of people joining on the negative bandwagon.

Being positive is much harder. Saying yes to life and being positive places you on the starting line and the work has just begun. Anyone who agrees with you has their work cut out as well if they want to make positive things happen.

Negative people have a motto - "Just say no!" When I worked in Arabia, some of the administrators at our hospital could say no at the speed of light. They never got in trouble saying no because that meant they were not initiating any activity that was new and risky, and for them it was a safe low risk position. Lots of people lined up behind them singing a negative chorus because it was the safe thing for them to do as well.

In most situations it is easier, less risky, and requires less of you to say no. You may not ever be a super hero or win a nobel prize, but at least you survive untainted by the disapproval heaped upon those who have the audacity to try to make positive changes and do something positive with their lives. Those who say yes are making waves that upset the naysayers and their addiction to the status quo.

It's even easier to say no about the dreams and aspirations of other people. Negating them is a low risk position, and it may even make you look wise and caring in your criticism of their plan to sail on the ocean of their dreams. Negation on your part is a socially acceptable way of passing your limitations on to them.
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Old 29-06-2009, 19:57   #22
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Negative people have a moto - "Just say no!" When I worked in Arabia, some of the administrators at our hospital could say no at the speed of light. They never got in trouble saying no because that meant they were not initiating any activity that was new and risky, and for them it was a safe low risk position.
My Sig other deals with EXACTLY the same attitude in her Gov. job. The DEP, for example, seems to harbor some of the very same administrators...
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Old 29-06-2009, 20:21   #23
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This brings to mind a book I once read, by the Reverend Wing F. Ding, Titled "F**k Yes" . It was a true inspiration and a really fun read.
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Old 29-06-2009, 20:34   #24
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I just don't have the time for negativity or negative people......and don't try to change them.

"A man, convinced against his will, is of the same opinion...still

The pointy end goes first, wind is free.......
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Old 29-06-2009, 20:46   #25
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Great Attempts indeed...

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Wow great article,
keeping positive can be tough, for me faith plays a big role, along with a "black list" of neg thoughts. I do have a sense of destiny, and that helps too. I, like many here, would like to sail around the world. Maybe I will. One of my favorite quotes is "In great attempts, it is glorious even to fail". I don't know what the future holds, I know I am not meant to be a landlubber. I'm drawn to the sea for a reason, why fight it

Erika
Every so often the "favorite quotes" strike a chord.

I am struck by the amount of response to this thread and how (once again) sailing is such a great metaphor for living one's life.

Erika, my snappy thought to this famous quote is - What is life itself, if not a "great attempt"?

I am also going to assume that your "sense of destiny" is something of a throw-away line since (to me at least) destiny implies something of a foregone conclusion that will occur regardless of one's actions. I much prefer to think in terms of "dreams" that one can actively pursue.

Again, great thread Dave!
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Old 29-06-2009, 22:53   #26
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maxingout such a great read. i know from experience how hard it can be to stay positive stay focused. thanks for reminding us
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Old 30-06-2009, 05:23   #27
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... In most situations it is easier, less risky, and requires less of you to say no. You may not ever be a super hero or win a nobel prize, but at least you survive ...
Which, I suspect, is why it's hard-wired into our genetic psyche - and among the most important of our instincts, that we must strive to transcend, if we are to become more than mere (surviving) animals.

I struggle with it daily.

Thanks for the exemplary inspiration!
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Old 30-06-2009, 06:15   #28
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OK here is our story.

We are cruising the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and then must leave Darwin on July 18th to go to Indonesia.

We really wanted stay at LizardIsland as long as possible diving and snorkelling and then do a 7-8 day passage of 1070 miles through the Great Barrier Reef, across the Gulf of Carpentaria and on to Darwin.

We wanted to stay (and did stay) 6 weeks!

But virtually EVERY day people would say YOU CAN'T SAIL THE REEF AT NIGHT! Also YOU CAN'T GO ACROSS THE TOP DIRECT.

On the last day we were there this old guy who had done it all etc, when he heard what we were doing pulled his glasses down his nose and peered at us like a 2nd rate actor and said: "Hmmmm. Have you done that before?" I just walked away.

Every day for 6 weeks we had the same negativeness from people.

Even I ended up thinking I was nuts!

Then I remembered Joshua Slocum... didn't he sail up the reef? So I pulled his well worn book off the shelf and found what he said in 1897: He too was told he was nuts! But he noted: "The best of Admiralty charts made it possible to kep on sailing night and day."

1897 charts! Well what about 111 years of refining those charts and putting them into a plotter?

Also he went straight across the top (we did it on the anniversary of his passage ).

So for 1 century sailors have been trying to put the fear into other sailors.

And well do those fear-mongers achieve their goals and turn simple, pleasurable passages into a nightmare, especially for those of the fairer sex.

Well, let me say here we had a fine sail, a fine navigation exercise, a fine crossing and a fine transit into DarwinHarbour through its alleged tidal defences.

I have never felt more relaxed at the end of a passage, nor during it. A bit of nav is no problem at all when you are in the right, confident, frame of mind and ones partner is too.

So my advice to anyone who has people give them negative advice is to realise: You can do it! Whatever the challenge is you can overcome it! Turn any ordeal into an Adventure by having a good attitude!



Below is a photo of Lizard Island. The coral in the bay includes one reef with 74 giant clams.... Wouldn't you want to stay just that little longer?



Lizard Island from the walk to "Cooks Look" where Lt James Cook looked for an escape route from the Great Barrier Reef in 1770.

Sea Life is 3rd from the left.


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Old 30-06-2009, 08:10   #29
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Thank you for another excellent article. You are really an inspiration!
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Old 30-06-2009, 08:37   #30
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very nice! well written and true.

the only thing I'd add is that there's a difference between negativity (from know-nothings) and more experienced advice. Several times on this forum we've encountered people who've never stepped on a boat but want to set off for a circumnavigation next week (ok, i'm only slightly exaggerating) ... To them and their unskeptical supporters, anything offered that isn't outright effusive optimism is mean-spirited negativity.
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